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Executive Summary “Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card” analyzes the condition of state school finance systems with a focus on the fair distribution of resources to the neediest students. The Report Card makes a number of assumptions about how school funding systems should be designed: A fair funding system should provide levels of funding based on student need. Student poverty is the most critical variable affecting funding levels and can serve as a proxy for other measures of disadvantage, such as racial segregation, limited English proficiency, and student mobility.  Fair funding systems are designed “progressively” so that funding increases relative to student poverty.  A sufficient overall level of funding is a crucial starting point for any funding formula to be successful. The Seventh Edition of the Report Card examines the fiscal condition of the nation’s schools using data from 2015.


Bruce D. Baker, Rutgers University

Danielle Farrie, Education Law Center

David Sciarra, Education Law Center



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